§00. Editor’s note: links affixed to author/publisher’s name will redirect to author/publisher social media, links affixed to story/article titles will redirect to the site whereupon the named piece is archived. The ‘authors’ section focuses on lone individuals who publish their own literary work, ‘organizations’ section focuses upon independent presses, lit-mags, e-zines and other literary organizations who publish fictive work of multiple authors and ‘literary ephemera’ focuses on non-prose non-fiction literature, such as certain poems, news and art theory articles, reviews, interviews and critiques. All author/publication names arranged by alphabetical order (including ‘the’).
§01. Editor’s note on criteria for inclusion: a publication is considered ‘independent’ if it is self-contained and sustaining, that is to say, if it does not rely upon the staff, organizational prowess or financial backing of large corporations, academies, governments or other large entrenched organizations. For example, Sink Hollow Litmag will not be included on the list, not due to the quality or lack thereof of their work, but rather, because they are supported by Utah State University (and thus, are not independent).
From Shreya Vikram, Paper Doll, by Shreya Vikram. A phantasmal and cautionary digression on art and emotion.
The heart, you see, is a deceitful thing. Its blood will choke you as fast as it gushes with life. In the end, it’s your heart that will guide the knife to your own throat.
— Paper Doll
From Steve Hart, Promise of Shaconage (pronounced Sha-co-NAH-hey), a novel in serialized form. One of the most interesting new literary projects I’ve yet come across. Highly recommended.
The river teemed with danger.
Timpoochee sensed it and was, suddenly, unsure about it all.
Water was Timpoochee’s love. The river, the long man, running from the tops of the mountains of the blue world to the great salt water was the beginning of all life. The water feeds his rich land, tapped by tall, stately pines which sway in the wind and moan soft, low protests to the disturbance…
— Promise of Shaconage, Act 1: The Water
From The Dark Netizen, Purpose. A (very) short horror story.
“I noticed you. That proves you are unusual,” said the Scarecrow; “and I am convinced that the only people worthy of consideration in this world are the unusual ones. For the common folks are like the leaves of a tree, and live and die unnoticed.”
From 101 Words, The Visitor, flash-fiction by Renate Schiansky. Anticipation and diffidence. Feels like a story half-told. Like so many flash-fiction pieces, I wish it were longer.
“Everything must be in perfect shape for him! She vacuums the carpet and swipes the tiles. The doorbell rings. Her heart beats faster.”
— The Visitor
From Fictive Dream, Being The Murdered Professor, by Cathy Ulrich. On a death in a family and life thereafter. Curious in that it is written in the style of a eulogy, but to the dead, rather than the living. There isn’t much in the way of a resolution but, perhaps, that was the point.
The minister will stand at the front of the chapel. He’ll barely need the microphone clipped to his lapel, his voice rising like riverflow. He’ll read the words of Matthew, Mark, John, Paul. He’ll say this song was written by a man who lost everything, have the congregation sing It Is Well With My Soul. The minister will relate to your death through the words of men, the minister will fill the chapel with the words of men.
— Being The Murdered Professor
From Flash Back Fiction, From Darjeeling, With Love, by Kiira Rhosair. The tale of beleaguered field worker. The story, like many of Flash Back Fiction’s published pieces, is accompanied by a audio reading of the text. Ms. Rhosair has a novel forthcoming.
“Uphill, lush rows of foliage are speckled with faded cotton saris. Her sisters in suffering have moved on. She wonders if one might have a drop to spare. Neither her legs nor her voice will carry up. The country is free but she is not, trapped in the mazes of this place the sahibs call Heppi Balli.”
— From Darjeeling, With Love
From Flash Fiction Magazine, A Touch of Glass, by Rob McClure Smith. A tale of a deranged man who believes he is made out of glass. I don’t agree with the illusioned man that we are “all glass” but many people are certainly more brittle than they might outwardly appear. Additionally, Mr. Smith’s prose is very good. Looking forward to more of his work.
“You think a mirror lies?”
“A window is not a mirror,” I informed him.
“We are all glass,” he said, looking very serious. “The slightest touch of another breaks us, and we return to nothing. You are a glass man for I see right through you.”
— A Touch of Glass
From Monkeybicycle, An Imaginary Number, by Sian Griffiths. A whimsical tale of a mathematically talented girl who encounters waltzing beings from another planet.
“That night, she danced with aliens. They spoke to her in math.”
— An Imaginary Number
From Public House Magazine, Solstice (1998), by Dan Klefstad. The story of a seemingly normal man who works for a extraordinary being, a alluring and mysterious vampire named Fiona; however, problems arise when another vampire, the cold and aristocratic Søren Fillenius, arrives at their residence.
A fantastic work. Highly recommended.
“Fiona never spoke with me about anything like this. She’s only 230. I assumed she’d be fine as long as I set my alarm each night before dawn. My voice cracks: ‘Fiona expects to die before you do?'”
From Reflex Press, Have We Got A Story For You?, by Al Kratz. A flash piece wherein a fly named Notorious is slain and creativity is embraced in all its undulations, its peaks and pitfalls.
“Why should the dull get light? We shove notes into our back pockets and judge the end of the storm.”
— Have We Got A Story For You?
From Surfaces, A Good Thing In Bad Shape by Shane Jesse Christmass. A short tale of a hard-scrabble American couple living fast in metropolis. Mr. Christmass wields a unique, quicksilver style that, to my knowledge, bares few comparisons. *best of the week
“A great dome full of machinery … intricate mechanisms … molten metal.”
— A Good Thing In Bad Shape
From Terror House Magazine, First Day In Hell, by Dior. A black comedy of a hapless souls argent passage through the fiery deep. The story is quite humorous, though the writing feels a bit rushed. In my opinion, the author has quite a promising career ahead as a social satirist.
The man came across another person for the first time since his arrival. It was a man hanging from a medieval-style gallows, but his eyes were open and moving. “Hello?” the man asked, as more of a test rather than a greeting. “Hello. You’re new, I assume,” the hanged man replied. “Yeah, I just got here,” the man replied, still hopping from foot to foot. “How long have you been up there?” “Since 2006,” the hanged man replied with a sigh. “Why are you down here; you seem like a normal old man,” he asked, looking up at the elderly man dangling from the rope. “Well, it’s a long story. When you get to reception, ask the Devil if you can use a computer and Google John Money; that’s my name. That will tell you all that you need to know-”
— First Day In Hell
From The Arcanist, Lucky Albert, by K. C. Shaw. A tale of a man who is continuously assailed by a mysterious assassin and yet remains completely and impossibly unscathed. Things are not as they seem…
“Someone tried to kill me!” Albert joined a group of his followers and accepted the first of what he expected would be many pints. “I was on my way down the Varner Fell when a boulder tumbled in front of me. It missed me by inches!”
“Just an accident, unfortunately,” someone muttered.
“Oh yes?” Albert said, instantly belligerent — his defining trait. He swaggered over to the man who had spoken, an elderly shepherd with a dog under his chair. “That’s the third time this week alone I’ve had an accident.”
— Lucky Albert
From X-R-A-Y, Now He Sees Shadows, by Gregg Williard. On George W. Bush, Heinlein and art.
“I appreciate your point of view,” he told me. “But many Americans do not enjoy modern art or space stories. That’s what makes our democracy great. And why the enemies of freedom hate us.”
— Now He Sees Shadows
§. LITERARY EPHEMERA
From New Pop Lit, How To Change Literature, by Karl Wenclas. A short update on NPL’s still-congealing literary model, which they dub the “3D Story.” Very interested to see its debut (and if you’re a author or avid reader then you probably should be too).
“EVERYONE involved in the literary game in any way needs it– including at the highest levels, which are filled with caretakers and functionaries as much as literary artists. The scene is starved for a new kind of product– akin to the automobile business in the early 1950’s before the arrival of the Corvette, the Thunderbird, and the Mustang. (Especially had the only models available back then been stodgy Studebakers and Ramblers. Which is the condition of today’s established literary world.)”
— How To Change Literature
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